I can't say that I agree with a ban on access to a body of water. I think it makes for a slippery slope towards other bans on other perceived "dangerous" bodies.
Not opposing the ban says that it is dangerous, but what makes it dangerous? Currents? While 9kn is fast (where are you coming up with that number, by the way? is that reflective of high levels in the river?) Traffic? There's heavy traffic in many places. The enclosed nature of the canal? While taken one at a time I certainly wouldn't be concerned, but even together - judging as an outsider - I don't see anything that should concern the kayaking community.
If we start limiting access based on the lowest common denominator what will become of kayaking? Would you limit my play areas here in WA, such as Deception Pass (traffic, currents of +8kn, wind, whirlpools that I've sunk to my chest in) or the Columbia River Bar (+11ft seas, shipping traffic and currents, wing dams and more). Perhaps, instead of standing by or abetting the closure of access to rivers, coast, etc, we, the kayaking community, should promote education and skill development.
I know, Strange, that you have mixed feelings about pushing the envelope of kayaking due to the perceived ease of the sport.
I think in this case I would have to side with, I Can't believe I'm saying this, Magooch regarding people being free to do stupid stuff. My question being are they properly prepared to do stupid stuff i.e. skirts, PFDs, immersion protection et al. Perhaps if they're fully prepared they also have the foresight and skill set to manage stupid stuff. I for one, have worked awfully hard at some of my stupid stuff and to have my stupid victory yanked out of my idiotic hands by the hands of the unstupid, not knowing how hard I worked at making my idiocy safe, would be the ultimate insult.
I applaud your drive at preventing the communal blackeyes but the non-kayaking public already consider us fools. Perhaps it's best to let them wag their tongues at one another, crashing their boat into one another while guzzling martinis, wearing shorts with belts and loafers with black socks. After all, shouldn't we take their stupidity into consideration? I think they're just jealous they don't have the stones to be the intrepid explorers/mariners that kayakers (not people who paddle kayaks, necessarily. frequently they also wear the loafers, shorts and black socks) strive to be.